To earn aditional revenue, the West Central Railway has decided to start rail coach restaurants at seven major railway stations under Jabalpur and Bhopal Divisions, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The national transporter has finalised contracts under non-fare revenue (NFR) policy.
Under this policy, old train coaches will be refurbished and transformed into rail coach restaurants. However, even after conversion into rail coach restaurants, these coaches will continue to remain as Indian Railways' property. The contract will be valid for 5 years. According to West Central Railways, 200 square feet area has been provided at each location. With this initiative, the zonal railway will have an additional income of Rs 4.80 crore non-fare revenue.
The restaurants will be built in the circulation portion of stations in the Bhopal and Jabalpur divisions, including Bhopal, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Madan Mahal, Rewa, Katni Murwara, and Satna.
Not A New Idea
The rail coach restaurant, while innovative, is not a new concept. It was previously executed in Asansol, West Bengal. Nmed "Restaurant on Wheels,"it is located in the circulating area of Asansol Railway Station. On February 26, 2020, Asansol MP Babul Supriyo inaugurated the first-of-its-kind restaurant. The Restaurant on Wheels was built on rusted MEMU coaches that served as the restaurant's skeleton.